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Uhuru Kenyatta is not as popular as the opinion polls suggest.
All Presidents, anywhere in the world, are remembered by their flagship projects. Former President Moi, even with his weaknesses, embraced a stable country, and he saw to it that the country was more united and peaceful. President Kibaki was remembered for introducing the free primary education that opened the doors to millions of poor students who would never have stepped into a classroom. The dividends of his signature policy will be realized when the 2003 standard one cohort enters the workforce.

Further afield, US President Barrack Obama risked everything, including a possible second term defeat, to enact the affordable care act, popularly known as Obamacare that would provide millions of Americans with affordable healthcare insurance. Millions of poor Americans will likely benefit from this enactment of the health care act.

What has Uhuru Kenyatta achieved? The standard one laptop project collapsed even before it had started. Mr. Kenyatta hops from one collapsed project to another, with nothing achieved in between. Despite this, President Uhuru Kenyatta likes to believe that he should be given a second term. I would point out that this is an anomaly.

I would unequivocally say that President Uhuru Kenyatta is the worst President that Kenya has had since independence. Jubilee claims that it has a transformative agenda for this country. They think this should guarantee them the front seat of power for 20 years. As a prerequisite, President Kenyatta is supposed to be a symbol of unity for the country- he has not been. He has not shown the face of Kenya. If anything, he has made Kenyans retreat to their tribal cocoons. Mr. Kenyatta preaches that we should reject tribalism in its entirety, but how can he kill the goose that lays the golden eggs? It is tribalism that got him to the seat of power- period. He didn’t have better workable ideas than all the 2013 contestants- even in his native central Kenya base. It is asking too much to expect that Mr. Kenyatta will end tribalism and unite Kenyans.

Let me conclude with an example from West Africa. Ivory Coast- Cote de Ivoire, was the shining armor of West Africa. Its capital- Abidjan was an extension of Paris, with French executives flying in and out hammering deal after another. For 40 years since independence, Ivory Coast’s economy grew by leaps and bounds. But the benefits of this growing economy were not trickling down to opposition strongholds. The result was a bloody civil war in 2001 that sent the country to the economic doldrums. It shed a third of its GDP in the 10 year civil war. Even the quintessentially African bank- The African Development Bank- AfDB, had to relocate its headquarters to Tunis, Tunisia in North Africa. Ivory Coast’s reputation plummeted.

In 2007/08, Kenya nearly went towards the same route. Were it not for the quick and forceful intervention of the international community, the Kenyan state would have crumbled almost to a point of no repair. I have always said that peace is not the absence of war. There is an incessant war of resentment in the hearts and minds of millions of Kenyans. God forbid if this internal war of resentment is going to erupt. It will go down with every Kenyan.

Mr. Kenyatta should not- and cannot- take Kenya towards this route. It will erase everything that our forefathers fought for. It will reinforce the long running narrative in the West- That the African must be helped- even from himself.
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Campus Mirror

Friday, 29 July 2016

Uhuru Kenyatta is not as popular as the opinion polls suggest.


All Presidents, anywhere in the world, are remembered by their flagship projects. Former President Moi, even with his weaknesses, embraced a stable country, and he saw to it that the country was more united and peaceful. President Kibaki was remembered for introducing the free primary education that opened the doors to millions of poor students who would never have stepped into a classroom. The dividends of his signature policy will be realized when the 2003 standard one cohort enters the workforce.

Further afield, US President Barrack Obama risked everything, including a possible second term defeat, to enact the affordable care act, popularly known as Obamacare that would provide millions of Americans with affordable healthcare insurance. Millions of poor Americans will likely benefit from this enactment of the health care act.

What has Uhuru Kenyatta achieved? The standard one laptop project collapsed even before it had started. Mr. Kenyatta hops from one collapsed project to another, with nothing achieved in between. Despite this, President Uhuru Kenyatta likes to believe that he should be given a second term. I would point out that this is an anomaly. 

I would unequivocally say that President Uhuru Kenyatta is the worst President that Kenya has had since independence. Jubilee claims that it has a transformative agenda for this country. They think this should guarantee them the front seat of power for 20 years. As a prerequisite, President Kenyatta is supposed to be a symbol of unity for the country- he has not been. He has not shown the face of Kenya. If anything, he has made Kenyans retreat to their tribal cocoons. Mr. Kenyatta preaches that we should reject tribalism in its entirety, but how can he kill the goose that lays the golden eggs? It is tribalism that got him to the seat of power- period. He didn’t have better workable ideas than all the 2013 contestants- even in his native central Kenya base. It is asking too much to expect that Mr. Kenyatta will end tribalism and unite Kenyans.

Let me conclude with an example from West Africa. Ivory Coast- Cote de Ivoire, was the shining armor of West Africa. Its capital- Abidjan was an extension of Paris, with French executives flying in and out hammering deal after another. For 40 years since independence, Ivory Coast’s economy grew by leaps and bounds. But the benefits of this growing economy were not trickling down to opposition strongholds. The result was a bloody civil war in 2001 that sent the country to the economic doldrums. It shed a third of its GDP in the 10 year civil war. Even the quintessentially African bank- The African Development Bank- AfDB, had to relocate its headquarters to Tunis, Tunisia in North Africa. Ivory Coast’s reputation plummeted. 

In 2007/08, Kenya nearly went towards the same route. Were it not for the quick and forceful intervention of the international community, the Kenyan state would have crumbled almost to a point of no repair.
I have always said that peace is not the absence of war. There is an incessant war of resentment in the hearts and minds of millions of Kenyans. God forbid if this internal war of resentment is going to erupt. It will go down with every Kenyan. 

Mr. Kenyatta should not- and cannot- take Kenya towards this route. It will erase everything that our forefathers fought for. It will reinforce the long running narrative in the West- That the African must be helped- even from himself.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Uhuru Kenyatta cannot be second time lucky.

I maintain that the 2013 election should have gone for a run off. The opposition would then have coalesced around a single candidate and roundly trounce Jubilee’s duo of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto. Now, Uhuru Kenyatta intends to spend money like he has never done before. His campaign budget must be many times over than the 2013 budget- because he will recoup it anyway if he buys his way into a second term.
Let’s look at the path that Uhuru Kenyatta has travelled. He lost the Gatundu South seat in 1997, and KANU nominated him to parliament, made him a tourism minister, and thereafter a minister in the then

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Kenya Needs Just Three Parties.

The future of our democracy is in a strong, vibrant, and diverse political party system.  President Uhuru Kenyatta recently signed a law allowing politicians to hop, skip, and jump parties, without losing their political seats. His calculation is that Jubilee will be a major beneficiary of such a move. The catchment areas of Western, Rift Valley, and Coast must be his major motivation.

Given the turmoil in the opposition, everyone assumes that President Uhuru Kenyatta has a free pass to his second term. Not just that. He assumes that Jubilee has a free pass to 2032, a period when 40 million Kenyans are supposed to fold their hands and warm the benches as Jubilee completes its 20 year game plan. First of all, no such arrangement has worked anywhere in the world- not in Kenya, not in the US, not in the UK. Ask Raila Odinga about the MOU; ask UK’s Gordon Brown how Tony Blair left him with a shell of the once strong Labour party that made his stint as UK’s Prime Minister tumultuous.

But back to my point. Have we ever imagined that the current political horse trading based on tribes has a shelf life of just the next 20 years? Anyone below 20 years, even in the remotest village in Kenya, does not subscribe to the politics of ‘watu wetu wanamalizwa’. This is why we need to reform our political parties the soonest possible.

Basically, we need no more than three broad based parties in Kenya. A social democratic party represented by CORD, a centrist party like KANU to cater to moderates, and a right wing political party represented by proper conservatives- not the current Jubilee mandarins. Put simply, in the next 20 years, no one is going to relate to the politics that ‘our people are being finished’, even the ‘mashinani person’.

The fact is that President Uhuru Kenyatta is a danger to our young democracy. He wants to buy off all competition. He believes that money is the solution to opposition’s machinations. He represents everything that is bad with politics in Kenya. For every shilling that Mr. Kenyatta outspends the opposition, we must outmatch him by five brilliant and workable ideas. That is the only way that his arrogance, and his kind of thinking, will be nipped in the bud.

I have always said that we need to fund our political parties to the tune of 100 billion shillings every year. I would go a step further and point out that our legislators should be paid directly by their political parties, until such a time when we will have the discipline to stick to our parties and reform them from within. This is the only way to tame political opportunists and rogue legislators. In other words, a sitting government cannot- and should not- weaken the opposition simply because it thinks it has an endless supply of cash from the state coffers.

But in true hindsight, we must prepare our parties to be reform minded, policy, and idea driven parties. Our parties must be able to collate crucial data on their own, and be a real alternative government. 
A case in point, why has the 2009 census never been made public? I would surmise that it would have radically altered our budget making process. It would have transformed our electoral map for ever. And that’s the kind of information that Uhuru Kenyatta and his Jubilee mandarins do not want you to know. But we have an opportunity to change this in August 2017. It’s called the power of the vote. Let’s turn out in large numbers and do the unthinkable in Africa- Eject an incompetent, corrupt, and arrogant sitting government. It’s not an impossibility.